Tuesday, June 29

Goodluck, President Noynoy Aquino! (aka P-Noy)

Go P-Noy
"Today the dream starts to become reality", "There can be no reconciliation without justice", "Walang wang-wang" were just some of what I liked about newly sworn in President Noynoy Aquino's inaugural speech, but what I digged the most was when he said "Kayo ang boss ko". I don't know how he'd go about doing that, but it's nice to hear just the same.

Our country is facing daunting challenges but hearing the sincerity from our new President gave me some hope that indeed, things might be different this time. I'm not expecting too much though... I'm old enough to know that no single person can change the system completely.

I'd be quite content if P-Noy would just make decent decisions, demand the best of the people he put in positions of power, not increase our taxes and not steal.. okay na yun sa kin. Perfection may be impossible, but honest governance is certainly doable--I expect nothing less from Ninoy and Cory Aquino's son.

"You are my only son. You carry my name and the name of my father. I have no material wealth to leave you; I never had time to make money while I was in the hire of our people. For this I am very sorry. ... The only valuable asset I can bequeath to you now is the name you carry. I have tried my best during my years of public service to keep that name untarnished and respected, unmarked by sorry compromises for expediency. I now pass it on to you, as good, I pray, as when my father, your grandfather, passed it on to me. ...The only advice I can give you: Live with honor and follow your conscience. There is no greater nation on earth than our Motherland. No greater people than our own. Serve them with all your heart, with all your might and with all your strength. Son, the ball is now in your hands." ~ lifted from Ninoy's letter to Noynoy (written in prison c. 1973).

Here are videos of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III's inauguration speech (via PnoyWatcher of YouTube):





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Thursday, June 24

Toy Story 3 was amazing!

utter perfection...
If you haven't watched Toy Story 3 yet, I suggest you get off your butt right now, go to the nearest mall and watch it. It was such an amazing treat to see the last installment of the computer-animated feature that started it all.

The first Toy Story made me a Pixar fangirl--that if there's a Pixar movie opening in cinemas, I'm one of the first in line to watch. And they have not disappointed me once... they know how to tell great stories (Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Up). Those Pixar guys are geniuses.

Watching Toy Story 3 just made me reconnect with Woody, Buzz, Jessie and Co. in a huge way. I laughed my head off, felt horror when they were in danger, and had to try really hard not to bawl at the end. Boy, I never knew saying goodbye to characters you cared about when you were young, could be so tough.

I've never been a crybaby to begin with, but the lump in my throat got so huge, it was embarrassing. Only the presence of my cousin Rose yelling at the screen when she thought Woody and the gang were goners, made me feel better about my uncharacteristic show of emotion. I realized I'm not alone in caring about these animated pieces of plastic (I noticed the crowd were yelling and emoting right along with us too).

So there we were--adults so incredibly sucked in by Pixar's technical and story-telling wizardry--trying to be strong and brave, LOL. It was a fitting send-off, with laughter and sadness in equal measure. Couldn't have wished for a better ending. Now, go watch it to see for yourself.

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My sister, the new Aussie

congratulations, newly-minted Aussies!
 My sister Anne has become an Australian. She had her citizenship ceremony recently and as I looked at pictures of her smiling widely, proudly showing off her citizenship certificate and waving a miniature Australian flag, I felt so happy for her but so sad at the same time.

 I'm happy because she's made a good life for herself in a country so different from ours, but sad that this might well mean she won't come back to live here anymore. It's a sad truth that nurses like my sister--and her best friend Cheryl--had to leave the country to make a living elsewhere... they are paid peanuts here, so who can blame them?

there you go...
When my sister left more than a decade ago, we immediately reaped the financial benefits and the balikbayan boxes (oh, the Tim Tams!). Her nursing career took her at first, to Saudi Arabia then to Ireland and finally, Australia. She was able to travel the world, gave our elderly mother (and us too) every little thing she asked (please, nobody tell Mama I called her "elderly"!) and gave help to relatives in need.

The benefits were endless... par for the course for the girl we depended on to get up on the roof to make sure everything were nailed down so the typhoon won't blow our house away (none of her other sisters were brave enough to do it, LOL). She's always been the most daring--the first to leap off the guava tree in our front yard, the first to drive etc.
celebrating at home w/ friends
So now our country's lost another dedicated, hard-working citizen. This happy-but-sad event is duplicated in practically every family I know. It is our nation's present reality and I hope things would get better soon. But for now, the Philippines' loss is Australia's gain, for sure.

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Tuesday, June 22

Charice is joining the cast of Glee!

add Charice here
Charice is confirmed to be on Glee next season. I'm a Gleek so this is pretty exciting. I'm so happy for Charice--she's come a long, long way from her impoverished, small-town amateur singing days.

I bet her fool of a father who abandoned her when she was young--he did not even want her to use the surname "Pempengco" professionally (never mind that she has a right to it by birth, what a heartless jerk!) so she opted to use just "Charice" instead to shut him up--is kicking himself right now.

All that Hollywood money coming in and he can't do anything but drool... tsk, tsk! He's an idiot for not realizing what a treasure he had in his daughter. If only he'd been a good father to Charice and her brother. Sayang 'no? Success truly is the best revenge especially in this case.



Update: Charice's excellent rendition of "Lupang Hinirang" at the Aquino inauguration:



Update 2: Oh no. Botox at 18?



Update 3: Charice's estranged dad murdered.

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Saturday, June 19

Sunday Scripture Verse: Psalm 103:13

Happy Father's Day!
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; ~ Psalm 103:13

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Friday, June 18

Taal volcano and a clueless reporter



This story about Global News Network (GNN) reporter Joshua Garcia's rescue from Taal Volcano's crater caught my eye, not because it was unusual, but because he seemed clueless.

He's not even sorry he made a spectacle of himself by foolishly ignoring warnings from the authorities that it was too dangerous to descend into the crater of the likely-to-erupt volcano.

Watching his interview on TV, I wanted to wipe the smirk off his face. Causing rescuers to put their safety on the line for a thrill, a scoop or whatever is selfish. I hope Joshua "wala akong pinagsisisihan" Garcia realizes this.

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Wednesday, June 16

Jesse Robredo for DILG secretary?

DILG or bust
Now this is great. President-elect Aquino apparently is keen on appointing Mayor Jesse Robredo of Naga City to his cabinet. I hope Noynoy gives the DILG post to him. I've been impressed with how Mayor Robredo turned Naga from a sleepy little city to a bustling, business-friendly one.

He was mayor when I went to school there in the mid-90's and I never heard anything bad said about him... of course I cared more about the shopping malls opening right and left around the city then, but I remember he was perceived to be an honest and no-nonsense executive. Come to think of it, he's like Binay without the corruption scandals.

Update: Mayor Robredo is ready to accept DILG post.
Update 2: P-Noy takes DILG post for now. Robredo still in the running. 
Update 3: Success! He's finally appointed DILG Secretary. "Might as well be president". For empowerment of local governments.

Bicol pride! I'm dancing a jig right now for my fellow Bicolano and DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo and also for Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who's from my hometown Iriga... Go Bicol!!! :)

I found this Storyline feature about Mayor Robredo on YouTube uploaded by pacardz (thanks, dude!) :)


 

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Tuesday, June 15

Should Binay have a place in Noynoy Aquino's cabinet?

yellow worked for him...
It's good that Vice President-elect Jejomar Binay has quit insisting on having the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) post for himself, as if he has a natural right to it. I don't even think he should have a place in the Aquino cabinet at all.

Prof. Winnie Monsod is right, there's just too many graft cases filed against Binay to inspire confidence in him. I hope President Noynoy would not appoint people in his administration who are tainted by corruption.

I respect the fact that Binay had been a loyal ally to the late President Cory Aquino, but his family's uninterrupted 24-year rule in Makati City makes me really uncomfortable. Just imagine, he's been in power here since I was in grade school! I wish him luck in his VP gig and all but I just don't trust the man.

Update: Binay changes mind, declines cabinet post. 

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Saturday, June 12

Sunday Scripture Verse: 2 Chronicles 7:14

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. ~ 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)

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Friday, June 11

Makati day parade (aka VP-elect Binay's victory party)

happy 340th birthday, Makati!
Binay dynasty
goooooo
Miss Makati 2010 etc.
tribe?
floats galore
fierce...
congratulations, again...
...and again
The parade celebrating the 340th foundation anniversary of Makati was wonderful though it often looked like a street party celebrating outgoing Mayor and Vice President-elect Jejomar Binay's victory in the polls.

Every delegation it seemed had a banner congratulating him, his son incoming mayor Junjun Binay and daughter Congresswoman Abby Binay. I wonder how the Binays made a city as progressive as Makati  their fiefdom for 24 years. How did they do it? hmm...

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Wednesday, June 9

Noynoy Aquino is President, now what?

goodluck, Noynoy!
Noynoy Aquino is officially our President-Elect. I voted for him and I'm gratified he won. Many people scoffed at his perceived lack of accomplishments as a legislator because he didn't have laws galore he sponsored or named after himself but thankfully, voters cared more that he's untainted by corruption. I know the next 6 years will be full of challenges, but I believe he's up to the job.

I think we have enough laws already, if the  government only have the intestinal fortitude to implement the laws passed by Congress, our country will be a much better place. What we need is a leader with integrity who'd make sure to put the right people in place to help him get things done.

I was watching the news last night and there was this guy hoping that Noynoy would put food on his family's table, sent his kids to school etc. I mean, seriously? I hope this guy is in the minority... at least someone should set him straight and tell him that it is his  responsibility to make sure his family has enough to eat. It is not the President's job or anyone else's. Whatever happened to taking responsibility? Sheesh.

I've never believed politicians' outlandish campaign promises because I believe more in the capacity of the individual to make decisions for their betterment. Government has its place in our lives but it shouldn't be too intrusive--burying us in red tape, too much taxes and unnecessary regulations.

What President Noynoy owes us is transparent and accountable government, one that is on our side... he'll face enough problems caused by his predecessor's profligacy without us expecting the moon and the stars. I wish him the best and I hope for our nation's sake, he succeeds.

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Tuesday, June 8

9.4 million Pinoys voted for Erap?!?

Erap pa rin...
So the canvassing of votes in Congress is done and Senator Noynoy Aquino is expected to be officially proclaimed President. No surprise there, really. We've pretty much known Noynoy has it in the bag as early as 2 days after the election... the result of the Vice Presidential race between Binay and Roxas was what everyone was interested in because it was so close.

What really surprised me was how well Erap Estrada did in this election. Garnering over 9.4 million votes was nothing to sneeze at... seriously, he beat Manny Villar's vaunted billions?! He won the 1998 election with 11 million votes so it appears he didn't lose much support even after being convicted and imprisoned for plunder.

This of course befuddle many people... one of whom is my ex sis-in-law in Australia who I talked to yesterday, she wanted to know how Erap got so many votes and what the heck were those people thinking/smoking?

I share her confusion but I've talked to some of these Erap voters (the SkyCable guy who installed my Digibox before the election, the security guards in my building etc.) and they say the same thing "All politicians steal, Erap was just unlucky to get caught and anyway at least di sya nagnakaw sa gobyerno--sa jueteng lang".

I am not kidding, those were really their sentiments. It's really sad that people just readily accept the "fact" that majority of our politicians are crooks. That since almost everyone in government is out for themselves, it's okay to vote for a populist ex-president who was once imprisoned for corruption.

Their reasons for voting might be wrong-headed but we can't deny that most elected officials are corrupt little ba$t@#ds... let's hope our new President would remember his campaign promise to go after these conscienceless creeps. It could help win back our people's trust in government and hopefully, would keep them from voting for a convicted felon for president next time around.

Update: Erap is retiring from politics and showbiz.

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Sunday, June 6

About Miley Cyrus' kiss stunt...

not cool
"Hannah Montana is gross!", spat my horrified 9-year-old goddaughter and avid "Hannah Montana" fan Lizzie after watching Miley Cyrus' performance of her new single on "Britain's Got Talent". Lizzie could not yet separate Miley from Hannah so her shock was understandable.

Stunts like this fake lesbian kiss has become a rite of passage for child stars (hello, Britney and Christina) trying to make the leap into adulthood. I happen to think Miley Cyrus is talented enough that she doesn't need to do this...

I know she's growing up and is eager to leave her wholesome G-rated Hannah Montana character behind but I hope she doesn't go too far too fast. No matter how "edgy" she wants her new grown-up image to be--fact is, she still has impressionable little fans who get confused and weirded out by simulated girl-on-girl action from their favorite Disney Channel star.

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Saturday, June 5

Sunday Scripture Verse: Philippians 2:3

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.                       ~ Philippians 2:3 (NIV)

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